Week 3: Referrals and Interviewing Techniques
Consider the following scenario:
Jenny, a young and newly licensed addictions counselor, is nervous about seeing her first client, a 35-year-old woman named Alyssa. Jenny observes that Alyssa has her arms folded in her lap and seems angry and defensive in Jenny’s office. So far, Alyssa has fluctuated between one-word answers and rambling rants that do not relate to the actual questions. Jenny thinks to herself, “What questions do I ask to get the best information? What referral information is most relevant?”
Questions like these are common for individuals learning how to conduct interviews. This week you evaluate interview strategies for addictions assessment, apply professional terminology to describe client status, integrate referral information into an interview process, and create effective interview questions.
Learning Objectives
Students will:
· Evaluate interview strategies for addictions assessment
· Apply professional terminology to case study
· Create effective interview questions based on referral information

Learning Resources
Required Readings
Perkinson, R. R. (2017). Chemical dependency counseling: A practical guide (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
· Chapter 4, “The Biopsychosocial Interview”
Focus on the particular questions asked by the interviewer and whether they are effective in assessing the biological (bio); emotional, attitudes, and behavior (psycho); and social (socio) aspects of the individual’s addiction.
· Appendix 6, “Sample Biopsychosocial Interview”
This section is the basis for the week’s Assignment. Focus on Jane Roberts’s history of the present illness and past history. How might these aspects of her life affect the questions you would ask her during an addictions assessment?

Galanter, M., & Kleber, H. D., (2008). The American Psychiatric Publishing textbook of substance abuse treatment (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Focus on the importance of open-ended interview questions to circumvent defense mechanisms in the assessment process.

Arria, A. M., & McLellan, A. T. (2012). Evolution of Concept, But Not Action. Addiction Treatment. Substance Use & Misuse, 47(8/9).

Focus on the evolution in how addictions and addiction treatments are conceptualized and the treatment services that are frequently offered.
Required Media
Laureate Education (Producer). (2012a). Interviewing techniques [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 25 minutes.
This video concerns the same individuals from Week 1. This time, view it in the context of determining effective interviewing skills.
Accessible player 

The following document provides credit for Laureate-produced media within this course: Credits (PDF)


Discussion: Interviewing Techniques
One of the best ways to learn how to do an interview is to watch someone else conduct one. This week, you will view a media clip of someone conducting an interview that is part of an addictions assessment. The interview uses a biopsychosocial approach, in that it collects information about medical aspects (prior illnesses, current medications), social history (childhood, school, employment) and psychological functioning (anxiety, depression). The goal of the interview is to start developing an overall picture of the client.
In this Discussion, you will evaluate which interview strategies would be more effective than others in an addictions assessment.
To prepare:
Review the Learning Resources, including the following:
· Chapter 5, “Assessment of the Patient,” in The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment
· Chemical Dependency Counseling: A Practical Guide
· Chapter 4, “The Biopsychosocial Interview”
· Appendix 6, “Sample Biopsychosocial Interview”
· The media titled Interviewing Techniques
By Day 4
Post a response to the following:
Based on your observation of the addictions professional in the scenario, describe one interview strategy you believe was effectively modeled. Explain why it was effective.
Which interviewing strategies used by the interviewer in the media would you avoid, and why?

Assignment: Referral Information and the Interview Process
A court system refers a person who was found to be over the legal limit for drinking to Alcoholics Anonymous.
A doctor who has a patient exhibiting symptoms of methamphetamine addiction refers the patient to an addictions counselor.
A probation officer working with an individual who has a history of illegal gambling refers to the individual to an addictions professional specializing in gambling.
Referral is a central aspect of the addictions profession. Addictions professionals often both accept referrals and administer them. Few individuals truly begin therapy as a “blank slate.” Addictions professionals need to know how to integrate referral information into the interview to maximize interview time and to tailor the questions to the individual’s unique history and background of behaviors. Like any profession, the addictions profession uses certain terminology in assessments settings to describe observable behaviors, which also aids the integration of referral information for desired results.
In this Assignment, you review a case study that includes the type of information typical in a referral situation. You apply professional terminology to summarize client status and create interview questions.
To prepare:
Review the Learning Resources, including the following:
· The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment
· Chapter 5, “Assessment of the Patient”
· Chemical Dependency Counseling: A Practical Guide
· Chapter 4, “The Biopsychosocial Interview”
· Appendix 6, “Sample Biopsychosocial Interview”
Focus on the case study of Jane Roberts.
By Day 7
Submit a 2- to 4-page paper in which you do the following:
· Based on the review of the Jane Roberts case study, in 1–3 paragraphs use professional terminology to describe the mental, physical, and behavioral characteristics of the client.
· Create 10 interview questions integrating the referral information from the case study provided. Provide your rationale for your choice of questions.

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